Before the digital and social media reigned over our collective consciousness, having pets and spending time with them were a personal concept. To many of us, may be, it still is, but for many more pet owners, things now need to be ‘shareable’.
Pet toys have not been able to escape the trend. Earlier, a wicker ball for your cat, tennis ball for your dog would have been perfect. Not so anymore.
As technology becomes more and more prominent in our lives, there are two main driving forces affecting the landscape of pet toys – photogenicity and interactivity.
Is it instagrammable? The pet industry was not so fashionable a decade ago. But pet owners are getting increasingly conscious of how their pets appear in photos. They are concerned about how the dog’s collar compliments their outfits, but they are also being drawn to toys that appear good on camera.
This aspect of pet toys is becoming increasingly significant, as social media continues to grow and the younger generation starts to dominate the market.
‘Stark Raving Cat’, a US based company, offers a range of such toys. They offer catnip joints, which look like, well regular joints. Your cat posing with a catnip joint is very instagrammable!
Spending quality time with your pets can lead to a stronger connection with them, and that is beneficial for the health of everyone involved. Interactive toys make the pet’s playtime more fulfilling and augment the bond between the pet owner and the pet. Interactive toys are ones thatlead to a collaboration of playtime between both pet and pet owner.
Industry experts have pointed out towards a growing demand from pet owners for fun and innovative toys for their pets. As technology comes more into play in the industry, pet toys involving automation and efficiency without completely eliminating the human interaction are expected to dominate the space.
Outside of photgenicity and interactive features of pet toys, few other trends are driving demand.
As global warming and climate change become a regular part of the human discourse, products that keep both environmental and user safety in mind are preferred. So conscious pet owners opt for toys that are made from materials that are sustainably produced and in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. ‘Made from recycled materials’ or ‘reclaimed from waste products’ are tags that are now being preferred.
Affordability remains a major driving force in buyer decision making. Affordable does not exactly mean cheap. It is subjective, as to each person, affordability could be at different price points. Premium products have their own niche; however, in general the average pet owner can spend only so much on a pet toy.
Durability and reliability continue to be a key concern for pet owners. They wish for toys that are not only entertaining and interactive but also that are physically durable, as they are more economical and generally more environment friendly.
So while technology driven factors are the leading trends in the industry, the traditional factors of affordability and durability continue to drive pet owners decision making. In the end, we are all here to make our pets happy & healthy and form strong bonds with our pawed companions.